OverviewThe Punta Alta de Comalesbienes is a singel peak with more than 3.000 meters over sea level in the “Parque Nacional de Aigüestortes” (eastern Pyrenees), in the Spanish province of Lérida (Lleida), Cataluña, Spain. With two good known routes to its summit, it is an ‘easy’ 3000er, rated as ‘F’ in most of the books. Nevertheless, a winter ascend (usually with skies or snowshoes) can be more complicated.
Due to its easy climb, with a comfortable approach and with a not too hard height’s difference from the parking at the ‘Embalse (dam) de Cavallers’, or from the ‘Refugio (mountain hut) de Ventosa i Calvell’, it can be used as a training for more serious enterprises in the neighbourhood, like the climbing over the six 3.000ers of the Besiberri Ridge (PD+). It is also recommended as an ‘introduction’ for the high Pyrenees’ mountains.
The National Park where this mountain stands is a beautiful place full with thousands of small and big alpine lakes surrounded by firn trees and rounded granite boulders.
The closest international airport is “El Prat”, Barcelona (290 km aprox.).
By car from Barcelona: road N-II or highway A2 (Barcelona – Zaragoza). Once reaching the city of Lleida, take the road N-230 to El Pont de Suert and Vielha. Two kilometres after El Pont de Suert take the road L-500 to the ‘Vall de Boí’. This road finishes at the village of ‘Caldes de Boí’ at the entrance of the National Park. In summer it is possible to continue a narrow road up to the ‘Embalse de Cavallers’, where there is a parking from where one or the routes to the peak starts. From this point there is a mountain walk to the ‘Refugio de Ventosa i Calvell (2.200 m), the start point of easier approaches to the mountain.
By bus from Barcelona: the company Alsina Graells connects Barcelona with El Pont de Suert, passing by the city of Lleida.
By train: the nearest train stations are the one of Lleida (155 km aprox.) and Pobla de Segur (50 km aprox.).
The Refugi de Ventosa i Calvell, from where one of the ascends can be done, is reached in two and a half hours over a mountain path that starts at the ‘Embalse de Cavallers’ (1.785 m), 4 km from Caldes de Boí. From the parking next to the dam, the road continues to the right side of the dam, where the walking path starts along the right side of the water (northern bearing). This part of the path can be dangerous in winter when a steep slope of (hard) snow falls towards the icy dam’s shore. There are, at least, two points on this part of the path, with avalanche risk. Passed the dam, the track rises to the grassy plains of Riumalo (1.890 m), where the path continues next to the left bank of the river (walking with the river to the left). A wooden bridge crosses the riverbed and a steep walk among granite rocks and walls starts (Barranc Llastres). Once up, the terrain levels again and there is a clear view over the ‘Estany Negre’ (Black Lake) to the right, some meters down the valley. The walk continues on eastern direction along the north side of the lake for about 15 minutes till the hut is seen over a big granite promenade.
Red TapePunta Alta is in the heart of the ‘Parque Nacional de Aigüestortes’, a natural sanctuary for wildlife and plants, full of beautiful landscapes. Therefore, visitors are supposed to respect animals and plants, as well as to take care of the landscape. Bring back your rubbish to the valley. Camping is not allowed.
CampingIt is not allowed in the whole National Park.
The tent can be set at one of the many campings in the area:
- Camping Can Roig. Tel. nr.: +34 973 690502 (El Pont de Suert)
- Camping del Remei (El Pont de Suert)
- Camping Boneta (Barruera)
- SSE ridge, over the ‘Barranc de Comalesbienes’ (south), starting at the ‘Embalse de Cavallers’. 1.300 high meters, 3 ½ hours, F.
- S couloir, over the ‘Barranc de Comalespada’ (north-west), starting at the ‘Embalse de Cavallers’. 1.320 high meters, 3 hours 45 minutes, F+.
- S couloir 'Normal Route', by the ‘Estany de la Roca’ (north-east), from the ‘Refugio de Ventosa I Calvell’. 900 high meters, 3 hours, F.
Weather ConditionsTo check the weather in Spain the best is to take a look to the official spanish weather forecast office at Instituto Nacional de Meteorología (Spanish).
The weather in Cataluña can be checked at Servicio Meteorológico de Cataluña, (in Catalan).
For a much more local look at the weather there is the weather station of Barruera (Catalan).
CartographyThere are two good maps of the area:
- "Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici", edited by Alpina at 1:25.000 scale. It is a edition with two maps, one of which reflects Punta Alta. ISBN 1050069. This map is more advisable than "Vall de Boí", of the same editor, but just covering a smaller area for the same price.
- "Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici", edited by the Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya at 1:25.000 scale but much more detailed than the one of Alpina.
LinksMountain guide (guiding in English & Dutch)in the Pyrenees:
Guías de Montaña Jon Sanz